5 tactics top founders are using to get new customers

Over the past 8 months, I’ve interviewed about 600 founders hunting for tactics teams are using to drive growth as 2020 comes to a close. From a list of over 180 tactics, these five were the most common.

I’ll be presenting them live at Freshworks’ Refresh 2020, a virtual global conference starting at 9am PST on 27 October.

The fast way to build a community

A quick google search returns millions of results for ‘how to build a community’. I’m sure you’ve seen keynote speakers preach the ‘build a community’ tactic over and over.

Reality is communities require time, energy, and money that most founders don’t have. So the question is: how do you build a community on a low cost budget and in a way that gets you new paying customers? First, don’t spend money.

Use these free tools:

  • Slack to host your community
  • Icebreaker to let members connect via video
  • Commsor to manage statistics (who comments the most, who converted to a paid customer, etc.)

Bonus: charge for your community and make it premium.

The single hardest part about building a community is whom to build the community around. The CEO? The ‘head of community’? Someone else?

The answer I hear from most CEOs is something like this:

“I ran it for a few months and then we made our most active users ‘Community Heads’ and they now run it.”

This strategy saves you from spending money on employees to run the community.

Examples of businesses where Community is their top growth channel:

You are a media company, own it or get beat

Struggling founders try and pay PR teams to promote stories favorable to the company. Winning founders build podcasts, newsletters, and write books to promote their own stories directly.

Owned media means turning your marketing strategy into its own revenue-generating profit center.

Why you get no views on your livestreams

A lot of smart people can give a keynote. In a world of digital only events, smart isn’t good enough. People will click away, mute you, or minimize your zoom presentation if you aren’t interesting.

You have to entertain first, and educate second. To turn entertainment into education that drives sales, follow this script.

This is the same script I used to get rated the #1 speaker at SaaSNorth this year, and one of the top #3 at SaaStr. Both were virtual events.

Every five minutes, ask your audience to do each of these things: Look, Listen, Feel.

Look ideas:

  • See where my mouse is on screen right now?
  • Can you read the number right here in the upper left?
  • Notice the color they used right here?

These all make your audience curious about what you’re talking about visually. They want to see your slide, meaning they’ll maximize your presentation if they’ve minimized/hid you.

Listen ideas:

  • Bring on a cohost
  • Play a YouTube embed
  • Unmute a guest on the call and take a question

These all help your audience listen closer because it’s not just your voice going for 30-60 minutes.

Interact ideas:

  • Write that down on your notepad
  • This is the slide to take a screenshot of
  • Type a link to your website in the chat so I can check it out

These all help your audience to physically engage with your presentation.

When you do all three of these every five minutes, you get a super engaged audience that likes you, tweets you, and buys from you (like this).

To livestream into many social outlets at once, I use Streamyard.

The customer metric everyone cares about

Net dollar retention (NDR) used to be a term you only heard public companies talking about. Now it’s one of the key growth levers companies of all sizes are paying close attention to.

How many customers from one year ago are you able to keep? Of the ones you keep, how many seats have they added, what features have they upgraded to, how addicted are they to your product?

This is what makes up net dollar retention.

Net dollar retention = Dollars lost + Dollars gained from same customer cohort over the last year.

Focus on driving more value to your customers along three strategic areas: seats, features, and usage. World-class net dollar retention is 130% or higher.

A sales machine that printed $300 million in revenue

One of the most important early hires a company makes is their first sales person. What should their quota target be?

Should they have a quota at all? How do you get them leads? How many demo calls does it take to close? Can you afford to do demo calls with every lead?

Henry Schuck of ZoomInfo has mastered setting up ‘sales SWAT teams’. He took his company public a few months ago, hitting a $15 billion valuation. When I spoke with him, he credited much of the company’s success to their sales team setup: five sales development reps book meetings for five account executives who close and pass customers off to a team of two customer success reps.

5:5:2 is the magic ratio.

Consider this as you build your sales machine with an eye on closing high-value customers that get addicted to your product.

In summary, consider building community, a media arm with livestreams, and a unique sales team to drive up customer retention.

To learn more about these tactics, come to the keynote at Refresh2020.


[This blog was originally published on getlatka.com]